Ellen Tsagaris is one of our favorite doll bloggers. She has collected dolls since she was three years old. She has made dolls, priced dolls, repaired, dressed, and studied dolls and her blogging work can be found on the doll collecting section of about.com and on her personal doll blogs, Doll Museum, and Dr. E's Doll Museum blog. Ellen is a fan and collector of R. John Wright dolls and we were fortunate to have her guest blog for us about the Hummel series. Enjoy part one!
I’ve had a keen interest in Hummels since I was in the second grade. For some reason, I thought that any molded ceramic figurine was a Hummel. I somehow got the idea from our teacher, who sometimes forgot she was talking to seven year olds. She must have been holding up one of her many knick knacks that decorated the classroom. These fascinated me, as did our teacher. I believed anything she said, and when she talked about Hummels, I wanted to please her, so I brought one of my Joseph’s Originals figurines to class, and proudly proclaimed she was my “Hummel.” I thought all breakable bisque bibelot were “Hummels.”
Needless to say, my second grade teacher swiftly and clearly pointed out my error, in front of the rest of the class. I still hear the derisive laughter of little children that were still missing their front teeth! PS: they really had no clue what a Hummel was!
Yet, I have to say, that this embarrassing incident led me to start collecting Hummel figures, dolls, and other memorabilia. When I went home and told my mother what had happened that day, she and my dad took me out to the store in our area with the most Hummels for sale, our old Religious Supply Store. She bought my first Hummel that day, a tiny figure holding a doll. Since then, I’ve added many more figures, even some which are copies. All are wonderful, and I’ve always loved the colors used.
Drawings by Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel are also beautifully done and delicately sketched. As one saleswoman said to my mom at a gift store in Colorado Springs, “if you don’t like Hummels, you don’t like children.”
The magnificent Hummel collection by R. John Wright clearly shows a love of children and the works of Sister Maria Innocentia. Sometimes, I look at the photographs of an R. John Wright Hummel interpretation, and it is hard to tell if it is one of the delicate sketches by Sister Maria Innocentia, or a wonderful doll by RJW.
My favorite of the current Hummel dolls is Celestial Musician. The artist has made fine felt take on the look of porcelain. The stars on the angel’s gown fairly glow, and we can almost hear the violin playing. The dreamy, sweet look on the angel’s face is pure innocence and goodness, and the whole piece seems to glow with celestial light.
Just looking at Celestial Musician gives one hope.